Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day...

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Oh Tinder how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways...

I am a divorced male, aged 41 years, with two kids, a house, and a car. I am also an introvert so I can't go to the clubs, bars, churches, grocery stores, or anywhere else and pick up women. Tinder's allure of meeting new people on the Internet was no doubt attractive in the beginning.

My expectation from Tinder is to be able to date women. I met my ex-wife when I was a freshman in high school and we were together, with few exceptions, for twenty-two years until our divorce in January 2012.

Tinder is not a dating (or relationship) app

Tinder is not in the business of selling dates or relationships. Tinder is in the business of selling likes. That's it. Tinder presents you with a picture of somebody and you have two choices: I like it (swipe right) or I don't (swipe left).

If you like somebody and they like you back, then "It's a Match!" and you're off to the dating races.
Or that is what Tinder wants you to think when you start using the app.

If you are an average person like myself, then the number of profiles you swipe right on greatly exceeds the number of matches you actually receive. My estimates would be that I have to swipe right on somewhere between 50 and 100 profiles (if not more) just to receive one match.

The Exploitation of Making Matches

Since Tinder is in the business of selling likes, the last thing Tinder wants to do is actually match people with one another. Because if Tinder matches you with someone, and the two of you go on a date, and it turns into a relationship, Tinder just lost two customers.

Tinder is free to download and if I remember correctly they make it easy to start with your Facebook account. But you are limited to making around 100 right swipes in a 24 hour period which again if you are an average male like me will net you one match if you're lucky.

Consider that by Tinder putting a limit on the number of right swipes you can make in one day that you the user has to be more selective in who you right swipe. This results in profiles you say no to that otherwise you would say yes, and therefore an impossible situation for a match to be made. The only winner here is Tinder.

Honestly I don't remember receiving very many matches at all when I was on Tinder's freebie plan so I wouldn't be surprised if Tinder de-prioritizes your freebie profile in their algorithm that decides when to show it to other Tinder users.

Enter Tinder Plus

Tinder Plus is their way of making money. And of course the business model is built entirely around likes.

Unlimited Right Swipes

Pay up for Tinder Plus and you the user can right swipe as many people as you want. How convenient.


If you swipe too fast and realize you swiped the last person incorrectly, you can go back and fix it. This is actually a good feature because you can correct both swipe left and swipe right mistakes.

5 Super Likes a Day

For that "special" someone, you can send them a Super Like. But because Tinder limits the number of "free" Super Likes a day to just five, you fall into the exact same pit of hell as a freebie profile in that you have to be more selective in who you Super Like. Otherwise Tinder will gladly charge you a dollar for each Super Like you want to give out to those special ladies. It's just like being at a strip club except Tinder is the one taking the dollars from you and not the stripper.

Tinder Boost

Skip the line! Be the top profile in your area for 30 minutes to get more matches! You get one of these "free" per week. The only thing I have to say about this feature is what line? Is Tinder the bouncer holding me up from getting into the club?


Tinder Plus gives you the ability to change the location in which you are swiping. So if you are going to Paris for vacation you can swipe in Paris and see all those beautiful singles just waiting for you to touch down at Charles de Gaulle airport!

No Ads

Every freemium app has ads in its freebie mode and Tinder is no exception.

My Tinder Plus Settings

I find it hilarious that in the My Tinder Plus app settings you can actually turn off all of the above features that you are supposed to get by being a paying Tinder subscriber. Why provide an actual service to your users when you can take their money and give them nothing at all in return?

Prepare for Tinder Gold

So the only innovation Tinder can come up with that will be an ultra-premium feature (you have to pay for Tinder Plus in order to have the privilege to pay for Tinder Gold) is the ability to see exactly who liked your profile without having to like them back and make a match. Guess what this feature is good for? That's right, not making matches. Again, the only winner here is Tinder.

Using Tinder on the Front Line

As a middle-aged divorcee who has used Tinder all around the world, the following is a synopsis of my experiences:

Tinder is one of the worst software applications I have ever used

If you actually set out to intentionally develop the worst piece of software humanly conceivable, you still couldn't make it as bad as Tinder. Consider the following:

Notifications on Android flat out don't work

When I have a new match or a new message, I require a proper notification from Tinder with sound so that I know I have something from Tinder to attend to without having to look at my phone. Tinder used to do this but not reliably and now I don't think Tinder does what it is supposed to do at all.

Because the app is completely unreliable and unstable with respect to notifications, I think the Tinder developers use a random number generator to decide how to handle notifications on your Android phone and they choose from one of the following options:
  • Show a notification on the home screen but vibrate the phone instead of playing a sound
  • Show a notification on the home screen but don't vibrate the phone or play a sound
  • Don't show a notification on the home screen at all, don't vibrate the phone, and don't play a sound
The last option means that I have to open the Tinder app on my phone just to see if I have any new matches or messages. Again, you cannot develop a software application this insane by accident and it plays right into Tinder's hands. If the user is never properly notified of new matches or messages, Tinder is completely useless. And if you cannot ever go on a date or start a relationship, winner: Tinder

Limiting Super Likes Proves Tinder is not a Dating App

This pit of hell has all kinds of problems. When traveling, I can promise you I want to Super Like more than five women in a 24 hour period. And no I'm not paying Tinder a dollar just so I can Super Like someone. If I'm going to do that, I'll take my money to the strip club and get boobs in my face and asses in my lap.

The crux of the issue here is that Tinder has no idea who I really like. Obviously they don't care because it doesn't generate revenue for them, but if they were in fact a dating app this is the kind of thing they exactly would care about. By putting a paywall in front of Super Likes, it generates invalid data on Tinder's servers about who likes whom and who really likes whom. And since Tinder doesn't actually want you to match or date or relate in any way shape or form, they don't give a fuck.

Of course the only argument Tinder can come up with for having Super Likes behind a paywall is to keep users from abusing them. The reasoning is if I could give out unlimited Super Likes, then why would I ever just like anyone, right? The funny thing is that they could easily detect abusers of an Unlimited Super Like system and deal with them in an appropriate fashion that doesn't create a pit of unholy hell for the rest of us.

Tinder Keeps Showing You the Same People Over and Over and Over Again

I cannot tell you how much time I have wasted swiping the same profiles over and over again on Tinder. It is frustrating as fuck because I already swiped right or left on this person once, why the hell am I seeing their profile again?

Of course it breaks your will to live every time you swipe right again and again on someone you like and never get a match. But this "feature" of Tinder enters the realm of cruel and unusual punishment under the following scenarios:
  • I match with someone I liked, they subsequently unmatched me, and yet their profile keeps coming up again and again. Pure torture.
  • I match with someone I liked, I subsequently unmatched them, and yet their profile keeps coming up again and again. Pure torture.
  • My ex-wife has shown up on my profile feed several times. Again pure torture. Tinder needs s Super Dislike option for this scenario but they don't give a shit. And even if they did have a Super Dislike option their backend algorithms would ignore it anyway because they don't give a shit.

People Who Unmatch You Keep Showing Up in your List of Matches

This is a "feature" I have recently observed in the Tinder app where someone unmatches you and yet their profile and any conversation you might have had with them keep randomly showing up in your List of Matches like zombies. It's just like an episode of The Walking Dead except the zombies goes away only when Tinder decides for them to go away.

The Overwhelming Majority of Matches Average Men Interact With Are Bots/Spammers/Phishers/Scammers

I have lost count of how many times I have matched with someone on Tinder only for it to turn out to either be a scripted bot, a scammer, a phisher, or spammer (the number is far greater than real people I have had conversations with). The formula is simple: steal profile photos from hot Tinder women, build a fake profile, and then scam away.

These fake Tinder profiles are all over the world and Tinder doesn't give a shit. Actually I'm sure the fakes are a great source of revenue for Tinder because at the end of the day it is a relatively cheap marketing tool for the fakes to pay for a Tinder Plus account and a couple of successful scams covers the costs of doing their shady business.

Oh and remember, no dates and no relationships means Tinder is the winner.

Men Will Show Up in your Profile Feed

From time to time, Tinder likes to show you other men in your profile feed that is supposed to be exclusively women. And I think just about every time the man has been better looking than me. Tinder wouldn't do this on purpose to tell average males, "See who is getting all the matches instead of you?", would they?

Passport Feature is a Complete Waste of Time and Effort (for the average male)

If you look like Channing Tatum, then I'm sure Passport is a fantastic feature and you have a dozen beautiful ladies waiting for you at the airport when you arrive. But for the average male this feature is completely useless.

Why you ask? Because if you don't look like Channing Tatum, women are only interested in relationships. Why are they only interested in relationships? Because a woman can get a date anywhere, any time, from just about anybody. Women are not interested in just having dates (unless you look like Channing Tatum):

Whenever I match with someone on Tinder while traveling, the conversation always leads to me being a visitor in their town. The majority of the time that is the end of the conversation. Women want a relationship from a man on Tinder (unless you look like Channing Tatum) and they want that relationship to be local.

Again, no dates and no relationships means Tinder is the only winner here.

Tinder Has a Transvestite Infestation

This is not a political rant by any means as I completely support LGBT equality. However, I am completely opposed to transvestites, bisexual men, and cross-dressers showing up in my Tinder feed. I am a straight man who is only interested sexually in women.

Tinder needs to enable LGBT people to identify themselves properly in their profile configuration and then allow other users to specify in their profile configuration if they are even interested in seeing LGBT profiles in their feeds. If that is something you are into by all means go for it. However I don't want any part of it personally when I am trying to use Tinder as a means of finding a date.

Actually, this Tinder problem can be generally applied to other profiles than just LGBT such as people in an open relationship looking for a side piece/third wheel or people that already have a boyfriend/girlfriend and are just looking for friends. For me personally, I am looking for a one-on-one date with a born and bred woman. That's it.

Tinder Doesn't Like it When You Are Picky With Your Likes

Because the only purpose Tinder serves in life is for people to like each other, Tinder looks down upon those who take a selective view of the people in their profile feed. I have noticed that if I dislike many people then Tinder's algorithm will do the following:
  • Show me almost exclusively people I don't like
  • Show me the "There is no one new around you" message more often
But if I like more people, then Tinder shows me all kinds of profiles that I like. And things get even better once you run out of your five free Super Likes for the day as Tinder loves to show you more women they know you would love to Super Like. So Tinder does keep track of Super Likes at some level, but only enough to fuck with your brain and promptly separate you from your money.

Tinder Boost is a Shady Feature

Honestly I have no idea how Tinder Boost works. But what I can tell you is that I don't get any more matches from doing a Boost than not doing one. In addition to not knowing what the hell it does, Tinder only gives Tinder Plus users one free Boost per week, and if you want more than that you have to pay up. Oh, and for some reason they limit the effectiveness of the Boost to 10x your normal profile display rate, whatever the hell that means. The only thing I understand from all this is less matches, less dates, less relationships, more money for Tinder.

Having Paywalls for Tinder Plus Subscribers is Disingenuous

I completely understand why Tinder wants to gamify certain things like Super Likes and Boosts for revenue generation from freebie accounts. But for someone who pays Tinder good money on a subscription basis, it better be all-inclusive. And it's not. Tinder Plus users still get the run-around on having to pay for Super Likes and Boosts.

Tinder App Usability is Complete Shit

Here is a list of usability problems you will encounter while using the Tinder app on Android:
  • Tinder does not take into consideration slow or low-bandwidth users in their application architecture. If you try to use Tinder in one of these scenarios you will feel nothing but physical and mental pain.
  • Because I have to manage my Super Likes, sometimes I have to go to the Settings panel and see how many I have left. When I return to the profile feed, the person I wanted to Super Like has magically disappeared and I never see them again!!!!!
  • When I am actually perusing someone's Tinder profile and I need to use the buttons along the bottom to like or dislike the person:
    • No! You meant to Recommend this Person to your Friends!
    • How about viewing one of their Instagram photos instead?
    • Or even better, Report This User!!!!!!
  • Trying to Swipe Left on somebody? No! Instead you meant to switch the view to see your existing List of Matches!!! (Tinder's way of telling you to swipe right instead of left as if they know what's best for you)
  • Open the app and it cannot reach the Tinder servers for some reason? I know, let's log you out of the Tinder app entirely!!! Now you have to go hunting for your Facebook credentials to login again, and yet you cannot re-login because you cannot reach the Tinder servers!!!! Brilliant!!!!
  • Traveling in a foreign country? Need to copy the text from a Tinder profile you are interested in so you can run it through Google Translate? Nope!!!! Denied!!!! You shall not pass!!!! Copying the text of Tinder profiles is forbidden!!!!!
  • Too often Tinder barfs on something when you are trying to use it to find a date and you get the following error message:

And Oh All Those Great Matches That You Can Never Forget

Some of the greatest hits include:
  • Bots
  • Fake profiles
  • Russians who will call or email you if you just give them your phone number and/or email address
  • Bots
  • Women who ask men rhetorical questions such as, "So what are you looking for on Tinder?" (A: a God damn date)
  • Women who match with you and then never talk with you
  • Women who match and then give you excuses on why they cannot meet you in person (coincidentally I am babysitting the entire 30 hours you will be in Copenhagen!)
  • Bots
  • Cam models that want you to join their live cam feed so you two can finalize the details of a date that will never actually happen
  • Transvestites looking for a date from straight men
  • Bisexual men looking for a date from straight men
  • Fake profiles
  • Cross-dressers looking for a date from straight men
  • Bots
  • Women who are only interested in meeting "The One"
  • Women who are not interested in one-night stands, hookups, or friends with benefits (unless you look like Channing Tatum)
  • Women who are only out to hustle men for money on Tinder
  • Women who want nothing to do with travelers (unless you look like Channing Tatum)
  • Bots
  • Catfish who look absolutely nothing like their profile pictures in person

In Requiem

At the end of the day, Tinder got me two (count it again...two) dates that actually went well enough for me to a) want to see the person again, and b) have a short-lived relationship with one of those people.

All the hours upon hours spent swiping left, swiping right, managing who gets Super Liked and who doesn't, when to Boost, strategizing when to use Passport while traveling, toying with the max distance and age range settings, not to mention paying Tinder good money to be a Tinder Plus user for over a year, was all for nothing. I am just as single and just as alone as I was before I ever decided to use Tinder.

So your mileage of course will vary from mine. But if you ever find yourself in a similar situation as mine, it is best to do the following:

1. Unmatch Every Single Person

I have 50 matches that I never started conversations with and 56 matches where the conversations went nowhere. Unmatching them all one-by-one was painful but cathartic at the same time. No sense holding onto possibilities that have no future whatsoever.

2. Delete Your Tinder Account

It is not enough just to uninstall Tinder from your phone. You actually have to delete your account manually from within the Tinder app:
  • Go to Settings Pane --> Select Settings Gear Icon --> Scroll all the way to the bottom
  • Press the Delete Account button at the very bottom
  • Tinder doesn't want you to delete your account, so it will ask you if you want to "Pause My Account" instead. Tell Tinder to go fuck themselves and press "Delete My Account"
  • Then Tinder will ask you, "Are you sure you want to delete your account?" The options I have to choose from are:
    • I need a break from Tinder
    • I want a fresh start
    • I met someone
    • Something is broken
    • I don't like Tinder (obviously this was my choice)
    • Other
  • Then Tinder will ask you for feedback. Leave whatever feedback is appropriate for your situation and then press "Submit Feedback & Delete"
    • Note this screen is obviously intentionally buggy as the choices I initially checked became unchecked and other options I didn't check suddenly became checked without me doing a single thing. Clearly Tinder sincerely values your feedback as a disgruntled user.
  • Then Tinder gives you an overlay window saying "Thanks for the feedback. Are you sure you want to delete your account?" There are warnings about losing all of your data permanently, etc. Press "Delete My Account" again
  • Finally, you should get a confirmation message saying "Account Deleted" and you will be logged out of the Tinder app

3. Uninstall Tinder from your phone

The best way to do this is from the Google Play Store:
  • Open Google Play
  • Press the hamburger in the search bar
  • Select My apps & games
  • Select the Installed tab
  • Scroll down until you find Tinder
  • Touch the app to select it
  • Press the Uninstall button
    • If you are a Tinder Plus subscriber, you will get a message that says "Your active subscriptions will not be cancelled. Do you still want to uninstall?" Select Yes

4. Cancel your Tinder Plus subscription

If you subscribed to Tinder Plus, then deleting your Tinder account and uninstalling Tinder from your phone does not cancel your subscription. If you don't do this step, yes you will still be giving Tinder your hard-earned money:
  • Open Google Play
  • Press the hamburger in the search bar
  • Select Account
  • Select Subscriptions
  • Find the Tinder subscription and press Cancel
    • I got a popup saying, "Cancel subscription? Your subscription will remain active until Dec 20, 2017". Press Cancel Subscription
You should get a small bubble message that says "Subscription cancelled". The Tinder subscription now says it expires on Dec 19, 2017 for me.

Tell Tinder to go fuck themselves and find productive hobbies to do in your lonely, old age. You might even meet somebody worth spending time with this way.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Using Gow (GNU on Windows)

If you are familiar with the powerful command-line utilities available on Linux platforms, then you also know those utilities do not come with Windows.

An alternative to Cygwin, Gow is a lightweight Win32 library of over 100 extremely useful open source Linux tools. And it is easy to download and install on your Windows machine.

Gow on GitHub

Download and Install Gow

  1. Go to the Gow downloads page and click on Gow-0.8.0.exe to download the installer
  2. Open File Explorer -> Go to Downloads -> Execute Gow-0.8.0.exe to install
  3. Take all defaults which will install Gow under C:\Program Files (x86)\Gow

Configure Gow

Now you have to tell Windows where to find Gow so that you can use all of its utilities from the Command Line.
  1. Open Control Panel -> System and Security -> System
  2. Click on Advanced system settings
  3. Click the Environment Variables button
  1. In the User variables section, you have to add Gow to the Path variable by clicking Edit
    • If you don't already have a Path variable here, create one by clicking New
  1. Click New and then place C:\Program Files (x86)\Gow\bin as the path to the Gow utilities
  2. Click OK all the way out to save changes
That's it! Open a Command Prompt and enjoy all the goodness Gow provides!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Want to visit the Pyramids? Don't even think about it

So Cairo needs a whole lot more legitimate jobs as you will see from my experience attempting to visit the Pyramids.

First off, Uber sucks in Cairo. If you actually get an Uber in Cairo consider it a gift from the Gods. Two reasons it sucks so much:

  • The cell network in Cairo is very slow and unreliable which means it takes forever for Uber to find you a driver, and then if they find you a driver you have no idea what they are doing when trying to pick you up
  • Traffic in Cairo is insane, right up there with the likes of Jakarta, Indonesia
On the way to the Pyramids, my Uber driver actually bumped into the side of another car and just kept on going. I should have taken this as a sign of things to come.

Not to say anything bad about my Uber driver Ahmed though. Because once we got to the site of the Pyramids, he was flagged off the road and into a dirt parking lot where two different "handlers" literally got into the car and tried to get me to agree to take a camel, horseback, or carriage around the Pyramids site for 400 Egyptian pounds.

I didn't want to do this, so my Uber driver kept telling the "handlers" he wasn't going to help them take money from me for something I did not want to do. The "handlers" lowered their price to 200 Egyptian pounds but I didn't want to do it for any price. Eventually the "handlers" got out of the car and my Uber driver got me to the legitimate ticket office where I paid 80 Egyptian pounds to be able to walk the grounds of the Pyramids.

I thought my troubles would be over once I paid for my ticket and went through the gate to enter the area of the Pyramids. Wrong. On the inside of the grounds, there were more hustlers that kept trying to get me to take camels, horseback, or carriages around the grounds. I just said, "Thank you", and kept walking.

That's when some young Egyptian punk who spoke pretty good English came up to me and started walking next to me. He said some pleasantries, and then handed me a men's Arabic head dress and said, "Here, my gift to you!" I told him I did not want it because I've been around before and know there is nothing free in life.

I tried to leave the Arabic head dress along the side of the road but he got angry and wanted me to keep it. So he walked with me further and made small talk even though I knew what was coming. Eventually of course he asked for money, which was the whole point of his hustle, and I didn't mind giving him a few Egyptian pounds for his troubles.

When I brought out the wad of Egyptian pounds I had in my left pocket, that motherfucker literally steals 200 Egyptian pounds right out of my hand. I tried to get it back but he would not give it. So I threw all of his shit down on the ground, told him to get away from me and to fuck off, and then I went away from him.

As I got near to the Sphinx, I saw an Egyptian policeman and I tried to tell him I just had a thief steal money from me. He did not speak good English, so I used Google Translate on my cell phone and wrote, "you have thieves working here" which translated to لديك لصوص يعملون هنا.

The Egyptian policeman understood and wanted me to show him who it was that stole 200 Egyptian pounds from me. He got a guy with a motorcycle and all three of us went back up to where the Pyramids were. I actually stopped for a guy who looked very much like the punk that took my money, but as I got closer to him I knew it wasn't him. So we kept looking.

At the top of the hill in between the two big pyramids, there he was still trying to hustle people out of money just like he did with me. The three of us confronted him, and he gave up the 200 Egyptian pounds to the motorcycle driver, but then several other hustlers working the area came around us and tried to mediate a peaceful solution.

All I said was is that I wanted my money back and I wanted this punk to understand not to take money from anyone else again. The motorcycle driver had my money so I was good with that, but I wasn't sure if he understood not to steal from other people. The Egyptian policeman had called his captain and was having more officers come to the scene, and with the threat of going to jail I want to believe the punk understood how serious this was.

While I was talking with the other hustlers, I told them I would drop the matter and not press further charges if he understood not to steal from other people again. They gave me their assurances, and the group disbanded. I went with the motorcycle driver and the policeman back down to where had found them next to the Sphinx.

When I got down there, the police captain and many other policeman were gathered and ready to come up to where we had just been. We spoke for a little bit about what happened, the police captain returned me my 200 Egyptian pounds, and I left the site for good.

While I feel bad about getting the police involved, I hope that punk understands what he did was wrong and does not do it to anyone else in the future. With all the hustlers and thieves working both in and around the grounds of the Pyramids, I would highly recommend you stay away at all costs from going there. While your life may not be in danger, I can promise you your wallet is in grave danger while visiting there.